NFL owners nearly tripled Commissioner Roger Goodell’s compensation in '11, paying him $29.49M and likely making him the top paid commissioner in sports, Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reports. The figure is in the league’s tax return, which the NFL is scheduled to file with the IRS by the end of the day Friday. Most of the pay is in the form of a $22.3M bonus, a compensation structure that will continue into the future. Goodell’s pay is now more closely tied to his performance and not largely derived from a set salary, which was $3.12M in '11. He earned $11.6M total in '10.
Goodell in '11 helped ink a 10-year labor deal and lucrative new TV contracts, so it is unclear if this '11 pay reflects a high water mark of sorts. Goodell’s aim is to dramatically increase NFL revenues, so if he is successful, it then stands to reason his compensation would remain in the mid- to high-$20M range. The NFL declined to comment on the information in the tax return, which by law it must make available if requested. The return covers the '11 season.